The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1277 Wednesday, 16 June 2004
Date: Tuesday, 15 Jun 2004 14:26:15 +0100
Subject: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Archive Catalogue and RSC
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's archive catalogue and database of RSC
production information is now available online through the Trust's
website (www.shakespeare.org.uk/main/3/313) Visitors to the site will be
able to access details of over 100,000 records relating to
Stratford-upon-Avon and surrounding neighbourhood and information on
past RSC production history from as far back as 1879 including actors,
directors, designers and performances for a given year or theatre from
the comfort of their own home.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust first began collecting local archives
in the 1860s and has since built up a notable collection of material,
ranging in date from the mid 12th to the 21st century. The collection
includes the records of some of Warwickshire's wealthiest families as
well as documents relating to dozens of Warwickshire families and
houses. The collection is already much used by family historians, house
detectives and professional researchers, and it is hoped that through
the on-line catalogue many more people will be able to utilise the
resources and that the collection may become more widely known.
Head of Archives and Local Studies Robert Bearman said: "Descriptions of
about 80% of our local archive holdings are now accessible on-line and
we are working steadily on converting the data for the remaining 20%.
People all over the world will now be able to find out whether we hold
here any archives of interest to them'
The RSC Performance Database consists of comprehensive information about
RSC productions . In the next update, scheduled for later in 2004 the
information will then be linked to full catalogue records, so once the
production has been found it will be possible to find if there's a video
or a prompt book in the Library available for study, making the database
a tremendously useful tool for users of the archives.
RSC Librarian Sylvia Morris said "We hope that everyone from ordinary
theatregoers to academics writing the definitive book on a major
director will find the answers they are looking for on the database. You
can find out when the RSC visited China, when Derek Jacobi last appeared
with the company, what was on in 1953, or whether they've performed any
of Vaclav Havel's plays."
As well as launching the database the Trust has added a special section
about the RSC to the Frequently Asked Questions section of its web site
www.shakespeare.org.uk. The FAQs cover everything from details about the
opening of the Swan Theatre to the use of non-professional actors on the
Further information can be obtained from:
Robert Bearman, Head of Archives and Local History Sylvia Morris,
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
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